Native applications are all about high performance, built for specific platforms and written in languages that the platform accepts. The key to success in the world of mobility is reaching out to maximum users, irrespective of devices or operating systems.
This makes a cross platform mobile app seem small with the added advantage that users on more than one platform have access to your product or service.
Cross-platform mobile development can either involve a company developing the original app on a native platform (which could be iOS, Android, Windows Mobile) or develop the original app in a singular environment for development that will allow the app to be sent to different native platforms.
Both Ionic and Flutter share a common vision of creating beautiful, high-performance apps that work everywhere. However, both are inherently different. Here is a quick comparison between Ionic and Flutter. It is important to partner with an Ionic Mobile App Development company or company specializing in Flutter to gain advantage.
What is Ionic?
Free and open source, Ionic provides a comprehensive library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for create highly intuitive and interactive apps. Ionic framework can create hybrid mobile applications for cross-platforms like iOS or Android.
Advantages of Ionic
- Allows for rapid prototyping
- Hybrid mobile
- It's angularjs
Disadvantages of Ionic
- Not suitable for high performance or UI intensive apps
- Not meant for game development
Initial release: 2013; 6 years ago
Stable release: 4.7.1 / 25 July 2019; 18 days ago
Type: Software framework
License: MIT License
What is Flutter?
Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android. Google Flutter is a game changer when it comes to delivering first-rate native experiences. Flutter is growing in popularity and often compared with React Native and other best cross-platform app development tools.
Flutter is a user interface software development kit to develop the mobile applications using a single code Dart. It is integrated with inbuilt Java Code on Android and Objective C and Swift on iOS.
Advantages of Flutter
- Hot Reload
- Backed by Google
- Compiled into Native C
Disadvantages of Flutter
- Need to learn Dart
- Lack of community support
- Lack of promotion
- Lack of friendly documentation
Flutter uses Dart, a programming language exclusively developed by Google and applies many advanced features of popular programming languages.
- Original author(s): Google
- Developer(s): Google and community
- Initial release: Alpha (v0.0.6) / May 2017; 2 years ago
- Written in: C, C++, Dart and Skia Graphics Engine
- Platform: Development: Windows, MacOS and Linux,
- Target: Android, iOS, Google Fuchsia, Web platform and Desktop
- Type: Application framework
- License: New BSD License
Founded around two years ago, Flutter is relatively newbie or novice in the mobile app development world, making it less mature than Ionic. However, it is backed by Google and with its dynamic developer community, Flutter comes with a dynamic tech communities making it very formidable.
On the other side, Ionic is highly popular among web and mobile app developers due to its easy learning curve. As Ionic is built on AngularJS, several years ago, it has a very strong community support in terms of resolving errors quickly and getting regular updates.
However, Flutter has gained market traction and attracted developers to learn Dart, helping developers to build robust native apps with the support from Google community.
Flutter has just made entry into the market but grown in popularity charts in a relatively short time span. It is used by Alibaba, Hamilton Musical, Greentea, Google Ads, and more.
Proximity to UI
When it comes to native look and feel, Flutter and Ionic both appear native as far as the user is concerned. However, both frameworks use the native UI elements, Flutter and Ionic update the design of UI elements to match the look of platform running on such as Material Design for Android and Cupertino for iOS. Both come with the ability to access platform services and native APIs via a library of pre-built plugins with a set of tools to build custom plugins.
However, it should be noted that Flutter’s native mobile implementation is highly opinionated. If you’re doing custom native work with Flutter, you’ll have to learn and adapt Flutter’s way of working with iOS and Android.
Ionic offers comparatively easy learning curve due to web technologies while Flutter requires developers learning Dart to build apps. Flutter is gradually growing with the support from best developers of Google and the community. Also, Ionic is used for graphical apps or game development due to wrapper plugins.
Comparison between Ionic and Flutter gets very close when it comes to app deployment across mobile and desktop.
Flutter’s portfolio depicts that you can create some immensely appealing iOS and Android apps from a single codebase. And while their desktop support is under technical preview, the demos shows it is possible to compile your app to run natively on different desktop platforms.
Everything depends on whether you are looking to deploy your app over the web as a conventional desktop web app or a PWA. Flutter caters to mobile apps and comes with inherent limitations for web browsers. Apps requiring quick load might experience inherent problems in web implementation. Considering that Ionic is built on the web and fundamentally based on web standards, it gets an advantage when it comes to developing apps for mobile, desktop, and the web.
When it comes to selecting the technology stack you want to work with, this can influence your decision. If you want maximum device flexibility, then Flutter may not be the thing you’re looking for.
Ionic’s primary principle is using the web platform and embrace open standards. When you build with Ionic, you will embrace the tools and languages of the web and framework designed to deliver high performance on mobile, desktop, and particularly, the web. Flutter, on the other hand, has chosen march ahead single handedly, creating a self-contained ecosystem which is struggling with the common languages, toolsets, and standards in the more ubiquitous development world. Thus, if you choose Flutter, you will be learning the Flutter way of doing things.
Several key factors will play a role when you decide to select a framework for your cross-platform app development. You need to decipher several factors such as budget, time, application size, platforms, and so on.